In our news wrap Friday, attorneys for President Trump and personal lawyer Michael Cohen sought to block federal prosecutors from examining seized documents, telling a judge that the material is protected under attorney-client privilege. Also, the U.S. and Russia traded barbs at the UN Security Council over a suspected chemical attack in Syria, and argued over a possible U.S. military strike.
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In the day's other news: President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen went to court today, trying to block federal prosecutors from examining documents the FBI seized earlier this week from his office and hotel room. Lawyers for both Cohen and the president told a New York federal judge that the material is protected under attorney- client privilege.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported the FBI may also have seized recordings that Cohen made of his conversations. Prosecutors said today their criminal probe is focused on Cohen's personal business dealings. And The New York Times reported Mr. Trump called Cohen this morning, before the court hearing.
The United States and Russia traded barbs at the U.N. Security Council today over a suspected chemical attack in Syria. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the United States, France and Britain have proof that Syria's military launched the attack, with Russian support.
Haley and the Russian ambassador argued over a possible U.S. military strike to retaliate against Syria.
It is Russia alone that has stopped at nothing to defend the Syrian regime's multiple uses of chemical weapons. Should the United States and our allies decide to act in Syria, it will be in defense of a principle on which we all agree.
Vassily Nebenzia (through translator):
We continue to observe dangerous military preparations. Such a development is fraught with grave repercussions for global security, especially in the light of the Russian military deployment in Syria.
Today, Russia's military said Britain staged the chemical attack. A British envoy called the charge a blatant lie.
It's been another violent Friday on the Israel-Gaza border. Gaza's Health Ministry says Israeli forces shot one man dead. Nearly 1,000 others were hurt, including more than 220 wounded by live fire. Some Palestinians burned tires and tried to breach the border fence. They're protesting the decade-old blockade of their territory.
Members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership reacted cautiously today to word of President Trump's apparent willingness to rejoin the trade group. He withdrew the United States from the deal after taking office, calling it unfair and a disaster.
Australia's trade minister said TPP members would welcome the United States back under the existing terms.
Let's also be clear. I think there's very little appetite among the TPP 11 countries for there to be any meaningful renegotiation or indeed any substantial renegotiation of the TPP 11 at all.
The president tweeted today that he'd only consider rejoining the trade pact if there was a substantially better deal.
In a Pennsylvania courtroom, Bill Cosby's chief accuser testified that he drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2004 at his suburban Philadelphia home. Andrea Constand took the stand in day five of the Cosby retrial. She is the sixth woman to testify against the 80-year-old comedian. Cosby's first trial ended with a hung jury in June 2017.
President Trump has ordered a task force to review the U.S. Postal Service and its finances. While the executive order doesn't mention Amazon, for weeks, he's been complaining that price breaks for Amazon are hurting the Postal Service's bottom line. Federal regulators have found that the arrangements are profitable. But Mr. Trump has also attacked Amazon's owner Jeff Bezos and another of his properties, The Washington Post.
And Wall Street finished the week on a down note. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 123 points to close at 24360. The Nasdaq fell 33 points, and the S&P 500 slipped seven.